CD Review-Grant Peeples’ PawnShop
GRANT PEEPLES’ PAWNSHOP DOES NOT DISAPPOINT
We barely had time to shake hands, sit down, and have a drink with Grant Peeples’ 2008 attention-grabbing, award-winning debut album “It’s Later Thank You Think”, when here comes something brand new! A year to the day from the 2008 release of “Later”, Grant’s new record, “PawnShop” emerges.
What’s all the rush, Grant?
Maybe it’s those 11 years he spent on a remote Nicaraguan island from 1995-2006 that fuel the urgency that puts Grants pen into motion. “I went down there thinking, among other things, that this would be a great place and time to write songs….Then I went through the biggest dry spell I’ve ever experienced,” he recalls. Grant returned to find his country changed, the climate altered in many ways. He registers his response in song. Whatever was smoldering in that Nicaraguan jungle is coming out now with a vengeance.
“There’s stuff I wanna get said. And heard. And that’s pretty much what’s at the bottom of this music career of mine– that, and this thirst for songs I don’t think I’m ever gonna get to hear. Unless I write them myself,” Peeples explains in his bio.
PawnShop is a mosaic of contrasting styles. We hear the gravelly, gritty storyteller’s narrative that we’ve come to expect from Grant—but now he’s doing what many fans have been asking for—“We want to hear you SING some more!” We got a taste of Grant’s softer, more lyrical side from his first album with songs like “I Am Empty Now” and “Tears from Carmen’s Eyes.” We hear much more of that on the PawnShop album as Grant continues to discover, quite literally, his artistic voice.
The opening number “Searching for a Sign” wafts a South American flavor, with a Latin rhythm and Santana style guitar breaks. Peeples sings with angry passion and guarded hope about our country’s need for change. Then Grant gives a nod to classic country influences with “Leaving Her Was Easy”, a funny/pitiful account of a clueless good ol’ boy’s wrecked relationship. Jesus Was a Revolutionary is a full-blown bluegrass romp, and a challenge to traditional American ideas of God and government. For waltzing, there is the beautiful ballad, The Saddest Thing, based on an eyewitness account of a couple’s sad solution to their troubles, played out in a pawn shop.
So, Grant Peeples fans, never fear. You might have been holding your breath, wondering if his sophomore effort can top or even equal the undeniable success of “It’s Later Than You Think.” “PawnShop” goes beyond. The album brings out the best in the singer and songwriter in Grant. The songs paint scenes you’ll want to hear over and over.
Grant has a novel approach to selling his CDs. At his website, www.grantpeeples.com, you can email a request for either CD, along with your mailing information. He’ll send your order right to you, no questions asked, with an envelope addressed to him, making it easy for you to mail your check or cash right back. “I trust folks that if they’ve taken the time and effort to ask for the CD, they’re going to pay me.” He adds, “My system is compliant with the New Economy.” “It’s Later Than You Think” and “PawnShop” are also available at CDBaby.com and iTunes.
But better buy the CD quick. No doubt his next project is already on his mind. “Song is always in my head, impetuous and immutable. And I write every single day…” he admits. Or, in the words of another track from “PawnShop”, “There’s a bluebird in my heart, I’m never gonna let him out.”— –Donna Mavity, Donna’s Americana, WTUF FM Radio/www.donnasamericana.com